crossing border with cannabis

If you have any plans to travel across the Canadian border, it is best to first declare any cannabis that you may carry. Canada Border Security Agency (CBSA) will impose fines on you otherwise.

As of March 29, 2021, Canada Border Security Agency has started issuing monetary penalties to travellers who fail to provide a valid permit or exemption issued by the Government of Canada for any cannabis or cannabis products that they may carry.

This measure is in accordance with the Cannabis Act under which it remains illegal to import into Canada or export from Canada, undeclared cannabis, and cannabis products (including CBD products derived from cannabis or hemp). (1)

The penalty, which ranges from $200 to $2000 and the contravention will be stated on a written Notice of Penalty Assessment that will be served to the traveller. If you don’t provide accurate information in your declaration, that will also count as a contravention. (1)

CBSA has previously notified the public of such intent in their 2019-2020 Departmental Plan. (1) This measure will work as an additional compliance management tool to reduce some burden on the criminal justice system. CBSA can still pursue criminal prosecution alongside the fine, depending upon the severity of the offence and history of non-compliance.

“The Canada Border Security Agency (CBSA) also reminds Canadians that although the possession of cannabis is legal in some U.S. states, it remains illegal under U.S. federal laws. Do not attempt to cross the Canada-U.S. border with any amount of cannabis in any form, even if you are travelling to a U.S. state that has legalized possession of cannabis.” (2)